Smartphones Made In Africa? A First For Africa

Smartphones Made In Africa? A First For Africa

Seemahale Telecoms and CZ Electronics, both of South Africa, have partnered and plan to design, develop and manufacture smartphones in Africa – a first for the continent – according to a report in ITNewsAfrica.

“It’s not right that out of a billion or more phones in Africa, none are made or assembled in Africa,” said Seemahale CEO Thabo Lehlokoe. “Some are designed here, but they’re then made in China.”

CZ Electronics is a South African contract manufacturer privately owned and led by CEO Sagran Pillay and COO Rob Bruggeman, according to its website.

Seemahale is a 100-percent black-owned company focusing on broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure and services, and the only company in South Africa that is a premier partner of Motorola Mobility and Platinum VAR of Advanced Media Technology for Passive Optical LAN for Africa, the report said.

The printed circuit boards that will be used in the production of the locally made smartphone will be imported, but everything else will be done locally including the assembly of components such as chips and wiring, house production and the printing of user manuals, the report said.

The companies will manufacture a five-inch smartphone and a 10.1-inch tablet. Both devices will be powered by Android and will cost “considerably less” than big-name products, according to a report in TechCentral. Both will run stock Android with no additional overlays favored by other manufacturers. The phone will run Android 4.3. The version of the tablet is still to be determined.

“The phone and the tablet will be branded with our own brand, but we’re also considering white-labeling it,” Lehlokoe said.

The smartphone is said to make use of a 960×540-pixel LCD capacitive-touch screen, have 4GB of storage, while running on a dual-core 1,5GHz processor powered by a 2,250mAh battery, ITNewsAfrica reports.

Lehlokoe is a physician-turned-entrepreneur with a special interest in ICT. He spent the last 12 years in companies with a ICT foundations. Until recently, he was vice president of the Information Technology Association of South Africa and a member of Business Unity South Africa. He is a former director of Siemens Business Services.